Distinguished Professor, Philosophy and Medical Ethics, University of Utah
2020 Speaker • 2021 Speaker

Salt Lake City, Utah

Margaret Pabst Battin, nicknamed Peggy, is distinguished professor of philosophy and adjunct professor of internal medicine, Division of Medical Ethics, at the University of Utah. She is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and holds an M.F.A. in fiction-writing and a Ph.D. in philosophy from the University of California at Irvine. 

The author of prize-winning short stories and recipient of the University of Utah’s Distinguished Research Award, she has authored, co-authored, or edited about 20 books, among them a study of philosophical issues in suicide; a scholarly edition of John Donne’s Biathanatos; a collection on age-rationing of medical care; Puzzles About Art, a volume of case-puzzles in aesthetics; a text on professional ethics; Ethics in the Sanctuary, a study of ethical issues in organized religion; and two collections of her essays on end-of-life issues, The Least Worst Death and Ending Life. She has also been engaged in research and has written on active euthanasia and assisted suicide. 

She received the Rosenblatt Prize, the University of Utah’s most prestigious award and was named Distinguished Honors Professor. 

She is the lead author of, Drugs and Justice: Seeking a Consistent, Coherent, Comprehensive View and The Patient as Victim and Vector: Ethics and Infectious Disease, just republished with a new preface on COVID-19. She is the general editor of The Ethics of Suicide: Historical Sources, an extensive sourcebook coupled with an online digital archive available free at She is completing Sex & Consequences, a book on large-scale reproductive issues, including world population growth and reproductive rights, and a set of novel considerations about urban design in the light of ecological, environmental, resource-use and social issues. She has been named one of the “Mothers of Bioethics.”